Casino chain shuts Ontario sites after cyber attack

A major Ontario casino operator has been forced to close its gaming operations since Sunday due to a cyber incident.

The company is Gateway Casino and Entertainment Ltd., which operates 14 casinos across Ontario, and others in Alberta and British Columbia. But it is the Ontario sites that have been affected.

In a news release Gateway said its sites “will remain closed in the coming days as we work to restore our IT systems.

“Over the weekend, we detected a cyber security incident and closed our operations in Ontario. We have retained third-party cyber professionals who are working 24/7 to help us restore the IT environment,” the statement says.

“Our upmost concern is the protection of personal data and information.  At this point, we do not have any information indicating that this incident involves any compromise of personal data. However, we are in the process of notifying the relevant privacy officials and gaming regulator [the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission] of the incident.”

In an email, commission director of media relations Tony Bionti said, “the security of personal information is paramount for OLG and all its casino operators. OLG requires all its casino operators adhere to strong cyber controls in compliance with federal and provincial standards.”

There is no evidence of OLG’s systems being impacted in any way, he added.

Gateway operates casinos in Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, North Bay, Clinton, Chatham, Hanover, London, Point Edward, Sarnia, Woodstock, Wasaga Beach, Innisfil. It also operates the gambling portion of the Casino Rama resort, which is jointly owned by the Chippewas of Rama First Nation and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

According to the Toronto Star, Casino Rama Resort’s hotel, spa, Weirs restaurant and St. Germain’s restaurant will remain open.

Gateway Casinos is majority owned by the Toronto-based Catalyst Capital Group Inc. a private equity investment firm with more than $6 billion in assets under management.

The shutting of casinos would cause a temporary loss of work for dealers, floor runners, tellers, accountants and others who keep the operation going. At its sites in all three provinces, Gateway says it employs 7,000 people.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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